You’ve heard it about content marketing and you’ll likely hear it about email marketing (if you haven’t already): email marketing is a dying strategy. If you believe that, you’re in for an uphill battle. Especially when you consider that a MarketingSherpa study found that 91 percent of people like promotional emails if they come from a company they already do business with. As technology pushes us towards an even playing field and the global economy takes center stage, customer experience is becoming more and more important, and email marketing plays a crucial role in creating positive customer experiences.
Why Customer Experience Matters
Some recent studies have found that customer experience is the leading indicator of profitability and company growth. And by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. This isn’t just a customer’s experience on the website or their experience in-store (yes, brick-and-morter stores are also beginning to optimize for a better customer experience. With all else being equal, a better customer experience is what will set your product or service apart from your competitors.
Email Marketing Extends Customer Experience
Customer experience doesn’t stop when they click the X and exit out of your website, or when they go home from the store. In fact, depending on where they are in their buyer journey, it becomes more important. The key to making email marketing work for your brand, is to keep it consistent with your brand message while personalizing it to the recipient. Sending cleverly written emails reminding a customer they have items in their shopping cart or inviting someone who was on the website and didn’t make a purchase to come look at a few items personally selected for them are both ways to continue the customer experience in a positive and personal way. Using a CRM can help you stay organized and track customer interaction, which is a crucial component to an effective email marketing strategy.
How to Use Email Marketing Effectively
Send Hyper-Personal Emails — Email blasts may be on the downhill, but personal emails are on the upswing. In fact, email blasts can have a negative impact on customer experience. Your customers today and in the future now expect to find messages in their inbox that cater to their personal preferences and their personal tastes.
Improve Aesthetics — Boring, plain text emails are no longer enough to engage your customer. Your customers expect beautiful, visually interesting emails that not only speak to your interests, but also align with your brand experience. Visuals in emails should feel like an extension of your website and/or store. The consistency in brand messaging also helps build a sense of trust and security with your customers.
Write Content People Want to Read — Not every customer wants to read the same content, and their brand experience will be directly impacted by the content you send them. This is where segmentation can really be helpful. Separating consumer groups will help ensure you deliver the content your customers are most interested in. If you work for a theatre, for instance, you might have separate content that goes to regular patrons, donors, and volunteers. Catering to reader interests keep them engaged and even excited to open additional emails.
Remember Mobile — If you didn’t already know, mobile is the way of the future. If your campaign doesn’t look good on customers’ mobile devices, it won’t convert. Worse, it will turn people off from your brand. Some studies estimate as much as 63 percent of people will delete or close emails they can’t easily read on their mobile devices. If you don’t already use a template optimized for mobile, it’s time to start.
As long as the world turns you will hear people saying email marketing is fading. It’s not fading, it’s just becoming more personal, which ultimately drives and extends customer experience. Looking at your email marketing campaigns as an extension of your overall brand experience, and not just a channel of marketing, will help your business build a deeper connection with your customers and drive more effective results.